Have you noticed the townhomes going up west of Highlands Drive? Though they are still under construction, these 109 units of Polygon Homes NW Townhomes are selling as soon as they hit the market.
Across to the north of what will be Ellis Ave NE, Polygon proposes 112 more townhomes with the same floorplans, just a different look on the outside. Like the others, they must go through a review and approval process by the City of Issaquah. Community oversight is represented by the Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC), a board of volunteers who welcome public comment and evaluate whether the developer’s proposal is in line with the expectations of Issaquah Highlands, as represented in our Development Agreement. Their decision is final and is like a judge’s, meaning it is “quasi-judicial.” Commissioners may not speak to anyone regarding this matter outside their public meetings. All communications must be public and on the record.
On Tuesday night, April 3rd, Polygon formally presented their proposal to the UVDC, with further information provided by the City of Issaquah Development Services Manager, Lucy Sloman. The UVDC is chaired by Issaquah Highlands resident, Geoff Walker. On the commission from the Highlands are also Karl Leigh, Ben Rush and Scott McKillop. The consideration of this proposal will continue until the May 1st UVDC meeting.
The proposal consists of 112 condominium townhomes on 7.26 acres. Ten units will be “affordable.” The layout will be somewhat like the Polygon Homes built “Brownstones” to the south of Dick’s Sporting Goods. And like The Brownstones, the project will include 3-4 story buildings in the Traditional Townscape Neighborhood (can be googled) style. They will be connected in four, five, six and seven-unit buildings. Building design is managed by the IHCA Builder Architectural Review Committee, making sure designs are compatible and compliant with Issaquah Highlands standards.
For the Commission, parking and pedestrian safety were the hotter topics. Proposed parking is well over the required minimum. However, Commissioners Rush and Walker persisted in warning that many Highlanders use their garages for storage instead of parking, regardless of the rules in place against that, resulting in heavy use of street parking. Assurances that garages will be designed to code with room for three waste containers, bikes and home utilities did not seem to ease their minds.
The proposal includes new roads and trails throughout, with unique elements such as a “Character Street” and a “Feature Pedestrian Way”. Both are designed to prioritize the pedestrian experience.
Like all homes in Issaquah Highlands, these homes will be “Built Green” and will enjoy front porches or patios to enhance the social experience of the neighborhood. One large park will anchor the southwest corner of the neighborhood with other park-like spaces throughout.
You can find more information at the Urban Village Development Commission section of www.issaquahwa.gov and view the meeting video HERE>> . If you wish to comment on this proposal, you may email Lucy Sloman (see UVDC section) or attend and speak the May 1st meeting at Council Chambers at 7pm.